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Three Strategies to Build Your Network with the Right Freight Broker

freight broker

Freight brokers can be the key to shippers saving time and money getting their products where they need to be and when they need to be there. But it’s also key to partner with the right freight broker to build a strong, resilient shipping network. 

“Freight brokers have access to a larger network of carriers, can negotiate better rates and terms, handle administrative tasks, and ensure compliance with regulations. Using a freight broker can free up time and resources for businesses to focus on other aspects of their operations,” a web publication, “How To Find The Best Freight Broker: The Ultimate Guide for Shippers and Carriers (2023),” said. 

Building a Better Network with Freight Broker Services: Three Strategies

The guide pointed out that key qualities of a good freight broker are strong communication skills, attention to detail, industry knowledge, problem-solving skills, adaptability, and integrity. 

To find the right freight broker and begin building your network:

  • Define your needs and objectives.
  • Do your research and due diligence.
  • Cultivate relationships and build trust.

Strategy 1: Define Your Needs and Objectives

“Freight brokers can be a valuable resource for shippers who don’t have the time, expertise, or resources to find carriers on their own. They can also help carriers find new business opportunities and fill empty trucks. If you’re looking to transport goods but don’t have the in-house capabilities to do so, or if you’re a carrier looking to expand your business, a freight broker can help,” the shippers and carriers guide said.

“Freight brokers are experts in the logistics industry. They have a deep understanding of carrier rates, regulations, and shipping routes. By using a freight broker, companies can tap into this expertise to find the most efficient and cost-effective shipping solutions,” it said. 

The guide said that shippers can build their networks by working with the right freight broker to achieve time and cost savings, access capacity, and find the best solutions for their shipping needs.

Strategy 2: Research and Due Diligence

The guide advised shippers and carriers to do their homework to help them find and build a network with the right freight broker through: 

  • Referrals. “One of the best ways to find a great broker is through referrals,” the guide said. “Ask other shippers or carriers in your industry if they have any recommendations for a reliable and trustworthy freight broker. Word-of-mouth referrals can be a powerful tool in finding a broker that meets your needs.”
  • Online reviews. “In today’s digital age, online reviews can provide valuable insights into a freight broker’s reputation and quality of service. Check out online review sites like Google, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau to see what other customers are saying about a potential broker. Look for brokers with high ratings and positive reviews,” it said. 
  • Industry associations. “Many industry associations and organizations have directories of member freight brokers. Check with these associations to see if they have a list of recommended brokers in your area. These brokers are often members of these associations because they meet certain industry standards and have a track record of providing quality service.” 
  • Load boards. The guide said that load boards “connect shippers and carriers with available loads, and many brokers use them to find new business. By browsing load boards, you can find brokers that specialize in your industry or geographic area.”
  • Background check. Freight brokers must be licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and are required to carry a surety bond. “Verify the broker’s credentials, insurance, and licenses to ensure they meet industry regulations. Look for brokers with experience in your industry, a strong reputation, and excellent customer service skills,” the guide said.

Strategy 3: Cultivate Relationships and Build Trust

Nourishing relationships is key to building networks. 

Building trust is critical for a successful relationship between freight brokers and carriers,” an industry article on LinkedIn said. “This can be done by honoring commitments, following through on promises, and showing reliability and dependability in all aspects of the business.”

A big part of building trust is being open and honest.

“Maintaining transparency in all business dealings and being open and honest about shipment details and changes can help improve relationships with carriers. This includes providing accurate and up-to-date information about shipment statuses and addressing any issues in a timely manner,” the article said. 

Regarding the cultivation of relationships, the article advised freight brokers to show carriers some love.

“Small gestures such as showing appreciation for their services can go a long way in building strong relationships with carriers. This can include regular check-ins, expressing gratitude for their hard work, and offering incentives and rewards for their contributions.” 

An article by The Network Effect noted that a breakup among parties can hurt businesses’ reputations.

“Brokers work with many different shippers and carriers on any given day, and word of a damaged relationship gets around quickly,” it said. 

RJ Logistics Is Always Available to Help Build Networks

As in any relationship, communication among shippers, carriers, and freight brokers is key.

“Like other intermediary businesses, freight brokers need to be in the loop when it comes to load movements,” The Network Effect said. “Shippers and carriers need to take the time to communicate their goals with the broker, upfront, and continue to update them with relevant information along the way. Brokers appreciate transparent, timely communication, so keep this in mind. A logistics management solution geared to the needs of freight brokers, logistics service providers, and 3PLs and 4PLs can be invaluable.”

At RJ Logistics, it’s our mission to deliver positive experiences for our customers, partners, and community through actions guided by our core values and principles. A big part of that positive experience is always being available when our customers, partners, and community need us. 

We are committed to finding the best solutions to meet our customers’ needs for expedite, truckload, flatbed, and cross-border services. 

Schedule a call with RJ Logistics today.

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